Portugal exported 5.8 million pairs of shoes, worth 142 million euros. In relation to the same period of the previous year, there was an increase of 30%. Compared to 2019, the year immediately before the pandemic, there was an increase of practically 12%.
Until November, Portugal exported 64 million pairs of shoes, worth 1,551 million euros, which means an increase of 10.7% compared to the previous year.
Europe was once again the reference market for Portuguese footwear, hosting 54 million pairs (12.4% more), in the amount of 1,264 million euros (an increase of 11.1%). Noteworthy is the good performance in Germany, with growth of 27.1% to 362 million euros. For the first time since the beginning of the year, the French market returned to positive territory, with an increase of 2.4% to 308 million euros.
Outside the community space, sales to the UK increased by 11.7% to €96 million. Exports to the states increased by 14.4% to 68 million euros. Australia (up 39.7% to 8 million euros), China (up 7.3% to 17.6 million euros), Hong Kong (up 36.2% to 3 million euros) and Israel (up 71, 5% to 2.4 million euros) also show signs of recovery.
“The year 2021 was already, as expected, one of recovery in the sector”, highlights Paulo Gonçalves. “In several markets – he continued – it was already possible to reach levels prior to the pandemic”. Still, according to the APICCAPS spokesperson, “the recovery will be slower than we wish”, since “all indicators suggest that the footwear sector at an international level will only fully recover in 2023”. In the Portuguese case, “there is an expectation that we will be able to achieve this goal sooner, as early as 2022”.
According to the APICCAPS Conjuncture Bulletin, “the Portuguese footwear industry experienced, in the third quarter, the most favorable period of the last two years. All indicators – production, orders, prices, employment – evolved very positively, surpassing existing expectations and, in several cases, setting new historical highs”.
The focus of industry concerns “has been reversed, shifting from the trade issues that usually predominate to factors of production: the supply of raw materials is now the main constraint facing industry, closely followed by labor shortages.” . Companies are now making a positive assessment of the state of business, which is the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The companies surveyed believe that “this state of affairs will continue into the last quarter of the year, with additional growth in orders and production that will allow employment in the industry to continue to increase”. According to the aforementioned survey, “although the positive assessment of the conjuncture is generalized, the prospects are all the more favorable the greater the size and export vocation of the respondents”.
Although international data only point to a slight recovery in footwear consumption internationally in 2022, the Portuguese footwear industry starts the year on a positive note. “Although we are dependent on the evolution of the vaccination process and even the pandemic, the signs of the sector are encouraging”, emphasizes APICCAPS. Rising raw material costs, transport difficulties and shortage of qualified labor to respond to market demands are, at this stage, the biggest concerns “Integrated response capacity (from materials to final footwear), small series, creative proposal of value, namely in the field of sustainability, are some of the main arguments that have increased demand from Portuguese companies” concluded Paulo Gonçalves, spokesperson for APICCAPS.